Yesterday (12 August), French Interior Minister Manuel Valls declared that the government would consider lifting working restrictions for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals during a meeting next week. France is actually one of nine EU countries that still require Bulgarian and Romanian citizens to have a work permit. This measure, which was welcomed by European Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding, is an absolute pre-requisite to Roma inclusion. Yet the recent dismantlements of Roma camps by the French government show that Romani rights are still flouted in France.
Earlier this week, police evicted hundreds of Romani migrants from ‘illegal’ camps and sent several of them back to Romania via a charter plane, providing them with 300 euros compensation for their ‘voluntary return’. The new Socialist government was immediately accused by Roma associations of perpetuating the discriminatory methods of its center-right predecessor.